The Lucknow parliamentary seat is set to make records as Uttar Pradesh goes to polls for the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday. Not only does the constituency have the highest number of candidates, it also tops the list of seats with nominees facing criminal charges.
Of the 253 candidates contesting in this phase for 15 Lok Sabha constituencies, 41 are fighting to win the Lucknow seat.
The maximum number of women candidates, five, are also contesting from this seat. The seat also tops with the highest number of candidates with criminal charges - five.
Lucknow is closely followed by Sitapur, Unnao and Jhansi with four each of candidates with criminal backgrounds, followed by Kanpur and Fatehpur with three each.
The figures were released ahead of the polls by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) late on Monday. "We have collected details about these 253 candidates after scrutinising the affidavits submitted by them while filing their nominations," Anil Barnwal, national coordinator of ADR, told IANS.
The statistics also reveal that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has nine millionaire candidates - the highest number in this phase. This is followed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party and Congress with eight each.
However, the BSP topped the list of the average assets per candidate at Rs.50 million. This is followed by Congress (Rs.40 million), Samajwadi Party (Rs.20 million) and BJP (Rs.10 million).
The richest female candidate in terms of jewellery is Anu Tandon, who is contesting from the Unnao seat on a Congress ticket. She has declared her jewellery to be worth nearly Rs.550,000, followed by BJP candidate Maneka Gandhi (Rs.430,000) and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi (Rs.290,000).
The Samajwadi Party has fielded the most number of candidates facing criminal charges.
While 10 out of the 14 candidates of the Samajwadi Party have criminal charges against them (71.4 percent), it is followed closely by the Congress with four out of 13 (30.7 percent). The third spot is a tie between the BJP and BSP with 26.67 percent candidates with criminal backgrounds, the report revealed.
The report added that 66 percent of the 253 candidates have also not submitted their Permanent Account Number (PAN) card details.